SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – Thieves committed a brazen crime at a car dealership in Spokane Valley early Wednesday morning that involved them stealing a safe and two vehicles.
Police said two cars were stolen off the lot at the New Deal Used Car lot on N. Greenacres Road around 3:00 a.m. They said the office of the dealership was ransacked and that one of the cars stolen was a Cadillac SUV once owned by former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal.
"We have lots full of cars, so they used one of the cars to steal our safe," said Scott Fitzgerald who works at the dealership.
Fitzgerald said he came in around 9:00 a.m. Wednesday and saw the garage doors open and a bunch of stuff stolen -- emphasis on bunch.
After the thieves stole the SUV they turned their attention to the main building.
"They came into the main office, and stole our safe," he said.
A safe the size of a doorway, containing the lifeblood of the dealership. Inside the safe were keys to every single car on the lot -- all 109 of them. If that were not enough, it also contained the titles to every car on the lot.
Employees like Scott Fitzgerald said it could be upwards of three weeks to replace those titles meaning no sales and absolutely no commission.
"We're turning away business all day. We've had 20 people on the lot that we've been unable to help," said Fitzgerald.
That is really the biggest blow of all. A car cannot be sold without a title, so without those papers on hand, those cars will just sit on the lot and employees will make no money.
Dealership leaders said the thieves managed to stay out of view of the security cameras. By estimates, they trespassed on the lot for more than two hours.
The manager New Deal Used Cars is now offering a $5,000 reward for any information that could lead to an arrest.
"This is how I make my living," Fitzgerald said, "so today I'm not making a living."